Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies: Optometry Pathway (BS/OD)

Location: Boston

As an optometrist, you have the power to help patients improve their vision and see the world through a brighter lens. This program allows you to begin your education focused on your career goals, so you’ll be well prepared to start treating patients on the first day of your new career.

In this professional pathway, you have the opportunity to earn a combined Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies (BS) and Doctor of Optometry (OD) from MCPHS in seven or eight years. During either three years in the accelerated track or four years in the traditional track at MCPHS in Boston, you’ll receive a challenging baccalaureate curriculum that prepares you for professional study. You’ll spend the next four years at MCPHS in Worcester to complete the professional education required for the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree.

Already have a bachelor's degree? Learn more about the Doctor of Optometry program on our Worcester campus.

Freshman applicants can view their admission requirements on the Undergraduate Applicants page.

Students with 12 or more college credits may transfer in to the first or second year of the program. Courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better for transfer. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted.

While there are no specific required courses for entry into the first year of our program, the admission committee will look for success in any math and science courses you have already taken. If you complete any of the courses listed below, you may receive transfer credit and your first year course load may be lighter. However, due to the lock-step nature of MCPHS programs, entering the first year of the program with transfer credits will not change the total length of your program. Courses, other than elective courses, may not be moved forward in your schedule.

Required Courses For Entry to Year II:

  • General Biology I & II with lab (8 credits)
  • General Chemistry I & II with lab (8 credits)
  • Calculus I & II (8 credits)
  • Expository Writing I & II (6 credits)
  • American Culture, Identity, and Public Life (3 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Western Civilization)

Required Courses For Entry to Year III:

  • Organic Chemistry I & II with lab (8 credits)
  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include Basic Statistics, Biostatistics, Psychological Statistics, Economic Statistics)
  • Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • Interpersonal Communications for Health Professionals (3 credits)
  • Behavioral Sciences Elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include any upper-level psychology course)
  • Humanities elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Ethics, Religious Studies, Select Fine Arts, Advanced Level Languages)

Additional Courses Accepted for Transfer Credit:

  • General Elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include History, English, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Government, Ethics, Foreign Language, Psychology, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Communications, and Economics)
  • Social Science elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include History, Political Science/Government, Anthropology, Upper-level Sociology, American Studies, Women Studies, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Economics)

Students complete the first three years of the curriculum at MCPHS University–Boston. The first year of professional courses at MCPHS University–Worcester are accepted as transfer credits to complete the remaining year four requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree at MCPHS University–Boston.

Year I-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
BIO150L Biology I Laboratory 1
BIO151 Biology I: Cell and Molecular Biology 3
CHE131 Chemical Principles I w/ Lab 4
FYS101 Introduction to the Major 1
LIB111 Expository Writing I 3
MAT151 Calculus I 3
TOTAL
15

Year I-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
BIO152 Biology II: Biology of Organisms w/ Lab 4
CHE132 Chemical Principles II w/ Lab 4
LIB112 Expository Writing II 3
LIB120 Introduction to Psychology 3
MAT152 Calculus II 3
TOTAL
17

Year II-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
CHE231 Organic Chemistry I w/ Lab 4

Behavioral Science elective I* 3
LIB133 American Culture, Identity, and Public Life 3
LIB205 Health Professions Orientation Seminar 1
PHY280 Physics I w/ Lab 4
TOTAL
15

Year II-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
PHY284 Physics II (w/ lab) 4
CHE232 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHE234L Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
SSC230 Cultural Anthropology 3
LIB220 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication for Health Professionals 3

Humanities elective 3
TOTAL
17

Year III-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS

Behavioral Sciences elective II* 3

General Elective
3
BIO360 Cellular Biochemistry 4

Advanced Biology elective I** 3
MAT261 Statistics 3
TOTAL
16

*Two BEH electives are required and must be chosen from a specific list. 

** Two Advanced Biology electives are required and must be chosen from a specific list.

Year III-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS

Advanced Biology elective II** 3
LIB512 Healthcare Ethics 3
BIO255 Medical Microbiology w/ Lab 4
SSC495 Evolution of the Health Professions 3

Liberal Arts elective*** 3
TOTAL
16

Total credits to complete degree requirements: 123 s.h.

***The Liberal Arts elective can be any 3 semester hour course in the following areas: BEH, SSC, HUM, language or communication.

 Students may choose to remain for their fourth undergraduate year. Their fourth year curriculum would be as follows:

Year IV-Fall

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS

Humanities elective
3

General electives 9
BIO346 Applied Concepts in Public Health 3
TOTAL
15

Year IV-Spring

COURSE
TITLE
SEMESTER HOURS
LIB480 Premedical and Health Studies Capstone Seminar 3

General electives 9
TOTAL
12

*BEH elective choices include:

BEH250 Health Psychology
BEH405 Mind/Body Medicine
BEH260 Behavioral Health
BEH341 Biological Psychology
BEH454 Stress & Illness
BEH351 Social Psychology
BEH352 Human Development Through the Life Cycle

Advanced Bio electives include:

BIO434 Immunology
BIO332 Genetics
BIO405 Plagues of the Past, Present and Future
BIO430 Molecular Biology of Cancer
BIO455 Advanced Microbiology (w/ lab)
BIO4XX Applied Human Physiology
BIO4XX Cell Biology
PSB328/329 Physiology/Pathophysiology I & II
BIO351/352 Advanced Anatomy & Physiology I & II
Approved COF upper level Bio course